Winter Salsa


This summer I cooked some delicious Mexican food with my friends Hector and Julio.  We made a bunch of tamales, short rib tacos, chicken with an incredible mole, rice . . . what DIDN’T we make?!  And we made a bunch of yummy salsas.  From that party emerged Culo de Fuego — A couple times a month, we make two salsas and share them at brunch at work.   We’ve had tomatillo avocado salsa, habanero salsa, corn and black bean salsa, a smoky chipotle salsa, salsa fresca, queso — pomegranate –cucumber, and I can’t think of what else.   It’s been delicious and fun and mind opening.

I am not a fan of winter tomatoes, so I tend to avoid salsas  that contain them, but I was so hungry for a tomato salsa for shrimp tacos the other night that I decided to make one from canned fire roasted tomatoes — it. was. AWESOME.  I use canned marzano tomatoes all year round for Italian sauces — why not Mexican?  Super fast — super delish.

  • 2 14 ounce cans fire-roasted canned tomatoes puréed
  • ½ cup roasted red pepper (jarred), packed
  • 1 4-ounce can green chiles (these are not spicy, just add great flavor)
  • ½ small red onion, roughly chopped
  • ½ cup fresh cilantro (leaves and stems), packed
  • 6 medium green (spring) onions, cut in two inch pieces
  • 3 medium cloves garlic, peeled
  • 1-2 small jalapeños, seeded (if you like a spicier flavor, leaves the seeds in)
  • 1 tablespoon of sherry vinegar (I just like the taste)
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
  1. Drain the tomatoes, reserving the juice.
  2. Combine all ingredients except reserved tomato juice in the bowl of a food processor. Pulse on and off until all ingredients are finely chopped and salsa is desired consistency. I like it a bit chunky, but if you like a smoother salsa, just keep pulsing. If you like a thinner salsa, add a small amount of the reserved tomato juice and pulse one more time.
  3. Taste for seasoning and adjust as needed. Serve with chips, tacos, or just drink it!

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